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Not satisfied with salary

 
#1 Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 09:25

Mark

I have friends who work in a number of different professions.

My lawyer friends start on £60K at age 25 and can expect to be a partner by age 32.

My accountant friends are typically earning £80K by the time they are 30.

My banker friends earn £45K the second they step out of university, and by the time they are 28 are earning £100K+ (minimum).

My medic friends (dentists, GPs) earn £100K by age 27.

My consultant friends typically max out at £80K by the time they reach 32, unless they are one of the very few elite who make it to partner and then get to £200K or so.

I'm stuck on £45K. That's £15K more than I'd expect to make as a secretary. I'm 30 by the way.

In the other professions, it seems that there is a clear career path and, providing you don't mess up in any big way, you're pretty much sure to have a decent salary by your 30's. With consulting, it seems like it's either hit or miss. Join a good company, be fortunate enough to land on a good project, and you'll do OK. But boy do you have to work for it! GPs, doctors, and even the lawyers don't really have to do any business development work - the work tends to come to them. We on the other hand have to basically create our own practices from scratch - this is NOT easy or quick to do!

I'm not sure where I'm going with this discussion, other than to say I'm unhappy with my salary. I enjoy the work but want a half decent work life balance too. Is this even possible in this profession, or is it time I started looking at more profitable sectors (something finance/bank related springs to mind, although I don't have much experience in this area).

Thoughts?

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#2 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 09:48

Hi to Mark (#1)

Basically I think what you are saying is that consulting is struggling to offer a compelling career proposition to ambitious employees who want to be remunerated fairly in comparison to other professions.

I agree and I think, with the exception of MBB, consulting now struggles to attract the cream of graduates for this very reason.

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#3 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 10:14

Clint to Mark (#1)

Two suggestions, depending on how ambitious you are:

1. Switch to being a contract consultant. Very often you'll still be working for a major brand consulting firm (simply as a contractor rather than a permanent employee), or alongside them at one of the major FTSE clients. As a ball-park figure, contractors can expect to earn twice as much per year as their permanent employee counterparts (or earn the same but choose to only work half the year).

2. Band together with a group of colleagues / uni contacts and form your own consulting firm. Small consultancies are currently selling for about 1.5 times annual revenues. So build up a firm of 20 consultants billing £150k each per year and you have a business generating £3m of revenues that could be sold for £4.5m; in the UK you'd only pay 10% tax on this gain, so if you had 5 founders sharing the spoils this is a realistic way of getting a £1m+ payout from consulting within a 3-4 year time period (after adding in the dividends you'd also collect during this time period)

"So the question you've gotta ask yourself is 'are you feeling lucky punk?!'"

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#4 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 10:27

Hi to Clint (#3)

Some nice ideas there... and both could be viable. However, it still does not solve the problem of the poor financial proposition offered by the major consulting employers during the formative years of a consulting career. Low quality junior consultant intakes are the result will really hurt the industry in the future.... Plus if one is paid poorly in their 20s then taking any form of financial risk later on is far less viable.

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#5 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 10:27

Mark to Clint (#3)

I like idea 2 but realistically don't think I'd be able to get to anywhere near £150k of billings per employee per year. I wouldn't know where or how to get this volume of work.

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#6 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 11:15

Blue to Mark (#5)

Don't cry guys, but consulting is fast becoming a 2nd tier profession

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#7 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 11:48

Mark to Blue (#6)

Tell me about it...!

I actually feel slightly embarrassed when I tell people I'm a management consultant. I feel like they're thinking "oh just a low paid pleb with no real profession who thinks he's a master of the universe".

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#8 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 11:53

Blue to Mark (#7)

The bar is a lot lower than it used to be... perception is lower than ever (as banking/PE/Law is now in another league totally) and that has hurt opportunities for 27-32 year old consultants left with a label thats not respected THAT much by the professional world at large.

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#9 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 11:58

Andra to Blue (#8)

Agreed... it may sound like consulting-bashing but really its a pretty realistic statement of the facts.

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#10 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 12:28

analyst to Andra (#9)

I agree with this thread wholeheartedly. I'm ana analyst at a big 4 consulting firm and if i'm perfectly honest, money is the reason i'm thinking about changing to a grad program in the finance arena. Even after a year or 2 here, i'll still be earning more on their grad scheme than i would as a c1 here.

It is greed in some respects but in other respects it's not. I want a career with real long term earnings potential of 200k plus in order to maintain a good quality of life in London and nice retirement. In finance and some of the other professions mentioned thats far more likely than in consulting, for which only a tiny minority get to that sort of level.

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#11 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 13:00

PE to analyst (#10)

I left consulting recently to work in PE. I can tell you it provides a better career experience in every respect. If you have great academics, can get through interviews without melting and want to feel proud of your career then GET OUT

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#12 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 13:23

Anon to deleted (#0)

You guys need to lower your sights... PE and IB? Most people on this forum would have no chance in those industries.

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#13 Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 16:50

Unit 7 to Anon (#12)

Consulting is not well paid. Period.

You want a Ferarri before you are too fat and bald to enjoy it? You want to live in SW7? You want to holiday at the Ritz Carlton? Then change profession.

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#14 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 16:56

get real to Unit 7 (#13)

Its not that consulting isn't well paid, it is. Its just that proper consulting has been so watered down. The roles that are comparable to IB and PE are strategy consulting roles in MBBB and a few others. The rest is just IT implementation etc. This isn't real consulting. It's like the IT guy at Goldman sachs moaning because he doesn't take home 13million a year.

85% of people on here calling themselves consultants really aren't.

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#15 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 17:06

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to analyst (#10)

It's crunch time for our industry on the remuneration front, as we've been reporting for quite some time (read <i><a href=http://news.top-consultant.com/UK/news_story.asp?ID=3937 target=_blank>Changing jobs the surest way for Consultants to secure a pay rise</a></i> and then <i><a href=http://news.top-consultant.com/UK/news_story.asp?ID=3990 target=_blank>UK consulting industry facing a resourcing crunch</a></i> and you'll have a very good understanding of the factors that have brought this situation about).

The main challenge is that the buyers of consulting services have chosen to push these transactions through procurement divisions in recent years - so now most major consulting assignments cannot be won without going through a massive procurement exercise. This results in clients choosing consultancies based on the daily rates being quoted and the discounts that can be secured - rather than on the quality of the consulting advice that is to be secured.

The direct consequence of this is that fee rates have been tumbling - at the very time that the economy has been flourishing.

Now when I entered consulting in the mid-90s, consulting was on a par with pretty much any other graduate career. It was neck and neck with banking, similar to law and considerably above pursuing a career in industry. Now quite the opposite is the case.

At some point in the next year or so, clients are going to have to realise that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys (no offence to readers intended!). If you want to have the best brains in the country brought in to advise your organisation, you have to be paying fee rates that make that possible from a recruitment standpoint. All the while that consulting salaries appear below par, firms will struggle to recruit the talent they need and clients will find that many of the best consultants have actually left the firms to join them in-house, or have taken flight to the City.

I hope the tentative signs of a rise in fee rates this next year prove to be correct and allow some balance to be restored in the remuneration hierarchy...

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#16 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 17:47

adsjfh to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#15)

I disagree completely with the poster that said MBBB is comparable. I have friends that are in MBBB and I used to be at a big ITSI. Now I am in IB and the money is just incredibly more.

A second year associate ( equivalent to a c3) of a good team, on a good year, can easily take home 170k.

This is more like what an EM at Mck makes with 10 years experience and an MBA!

Then when you get to director level you just rocket away - the only things that compare are possibly Law and some kinds of FS.

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#17 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 19:20

no no no to adsjfh (#16)

Consultants are very well paid considering what they actually do

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#18 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 21:37

Iner to no no no (#17)

And thats the problem. for what consultant do they are well paid. BUT, those with real ability and ambition leave consulting after a few years because they feel that, as individuals, they could make a much greater contribution elsewhere and actually be rewarded properly for it.

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#19 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 21:40

Forest to Iner (#18)

Tony, I agree totally. And if there is no correction sometime soon then this industry will enter a terminal decline. Sad thing is, I just can't see how that correction is ever going to happen.

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#20 RE: Not satisfied with salary
21/09/2007 23:33

Jack Sparrow to Forest (#19)

...why, this is a depressing thread isn't it?

I'd like to inject a note of optimism (and hopefully reality) into the discussion. I'm 28 and a manager grade at a big 4's consulting arm.

I earn a package of £70k after 4.5 years of consulting experience plus 1.5 for a startup, have worked on a variety of advisory-type projects (NOT systems integration, counter to the point made above) at prominent FTSE100 organisations, and regularly have interaction with board-level client personnel.

By and large, I work with very bright people doing interesting things, and am optimistic about my prospects outside of consulting over the next couple of years.

Personally, I see myself working next for another startup or in a prominent role at an SME, though a move into programme management in industry is also a prospect.

Whilst consulting may not be as well paid as 6-7 years ago, it is still a great way to develop transferrable business skills and exposure to executives. Viewed as a career accelerator or stepping stone to more entrepreneurial pursuits, it beats IB, PE and industry hands down.

Just my two cents.

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#21 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 00:11

Forest to Jack Sparrow (#20)

Jack, I dont disagree in principle. However the prospect of a role as a Programme Manager in industry is not exactly that kind of lofty dream that makes people happy to work 90 hour weeks for average pay is it?

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#22 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 00:41

Jack Sparrow to Forest (#21)

Fair point, but programme leadership in industry IS a way to breach the £100k threshold, and a 'way in' to senior operational roles. If COO in industry is the aim, then a consulting background certainly won't harm.

Also - sorry to state the obvious but my experience tells me that employees rarely work 90 hour weeks in industry - this is largely the preserve of consultants, bankers and lawyers, i.e. professions with an accelerated career path. One of the attractions of a move away from consulting is the improvements in work/life balance and reduction in travel requirement.

That said, I still see a startup or fast growing entrepreneurial setting as my likely next step.

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#23 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 10:07

Forest to Jack Sparrow (#22)

Well I would like to keep my accelerated career path thanks - Gosh the number of people in their late 20s who basically accept that consulting is never going to pay and opt for "work/life" balance is shocking. Its like all the energy had been drained from this industry.

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#24 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 11:37

anon to Forest (#23)

I'm 26 years old, a Principal Consultant (not MBB or big 4), earn between 80 and 100k (depending on bonus - 42% last year) and am hoping to make partner in the next 3-4 years and hit the £150K+ mark.

I enjoy the work and think I am fairly rewarded.

If I didn't I would move out of the industry. My suggestion to those who think consulting is inferior to other professions is to leave. The best (and most successful) consultants I have worked with are those that are driven, passionate and enjoy what they do. There is little point in floating in consulting. Make a choice and do something about it rather than complain!.

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#25 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 15:22

Jack Sparrow to anon (#24)

Well said that man!

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#26 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 18:35

Mark to Jack Sparrow (#25)

The more I think about how mediocre the career prospects are in consulting, the more I'm reaching the conclusion that I need to bail out.

I've been a consultant for 9 years (including a few years of MBB experience) and, as mentioned earlier, I'm earning £45K. I have a 50/50 mix of strategy and IT project experience.

I work way too hard relative to what I earn. I could earn a few £k more at another firm that has a bit more of a 'performance' culture, but at what cost to my work-life balance (seriously, are all the long hours and the short notice travel / living out of a suitcase worth an extra couple of hundred spending money each month, particularly when you can earn the same in another sector but without the travel and arguably less stress or fewer hours)? I'd like to point out that I'm no cruiser and have plenty of energy, but I'm no mug either.

During each appraisal (of which there are many, not only at the year end but at the end of each major assignment too), I am held accountable to my partners/line managers, my team (it's a 360 appraisal system), co-workers, a HR department as well as the clients themselves. Besides trying to keep about 10 bosses happy at any one time, I'm also expected to be a master of Excel, a TV-quality public speaker/presenter, a financial genius, an IT subject matter expert, a top-performing salesman, a first-rate project manager, an account manager and an all-round 'master of the universe'. For £45k (no bonus).

I think I need to find a suitable role in the city (i.e. financial sector). I know financial basics - however, I have limited recent experience of working on projects which have a significant financial element. Given this, what sort of options do you think would be available?

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#27 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 19:12

Jack Sparrow to Mark (#26)

Mark,

I do sympathise, however I don't feel your story (£45k after 9 years in consulting) is typical of the industry. Most people at the larger firms would have passed the £45k salary level after 3-4 years - i.e. C2 grade (ish).

Your experience seems to be broad and of relevant value to any generalist consulting practice - why not try and sell yourself into the likes of Acn, CG or DC as a Manager. If successful, you'd make £65k+ straight off. You might have to put up some more travel and longer hours (but notably fewer hours will be required than junior doctors, IB'ers and city lawyers that you mention need to work in their 20s).

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#28 RE: Not satisfied with salary
22/09/2007 22:35

acnler to Jack Sparrow (#27)

from my perspective you should consider to get a new job with a bigger company like the previous poster suggested. there is a lot of demand in the market at the moment for people with experience, and 9 years is really a strong fundament. if I were you I would at least try to sell this experience in the market, if you have 3 offers on your table you can still decide to stay with your old job because of work-life-balance etc...but then it is a decision that you take for good reasons and you will feel better. reach out, meet new people and see how it goes I would say. 45k for 9 years of experience means your are underpaid in my opinion.

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#29 RE: Not satisfied with salary
23/09/2007 06:15

Hang on.... to acnler (#28)

Is it not inevitable than when an industry grows at this rate it ends up being watered down a little? Supply has increased significantly but clients are getting a bit wiser to the realities of consulting - ie that a good deal of the money spent on consulting is wasted. There is still a market at the high end for top class consultants, performing vital consulting projects but most of the lower tier work can be carried out far cheaper than by a management consulting firm. Unfortunately, consultancies are now at the lower - mid end competing against contract recruitment firms and low ties services companies. It is a question of definitions perhaps. It does seem to be true that there is more hope for the mediocre in other sectors, whereas in consulting, you have to be a true star to make real cash. That said, the post consulting opportunities are generally very good. Guys are walking into Director level Strategy jobs after a few years of consulting. Had they joined the same companies as graddies, they would be nowhere near that level. Consulting is still viable but less so as a longer term career. I suspect that the true cream of the industry exits either to go independent (like our good friend SVP) or to industry jobs. This leaves the middle of the roaders running the top companies. IN reality, this is not wildly different to what happens in other sectors.

Sorry for the rambling directionless thoughts. hope some of this makes sense, however.,

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#30 RE: Not satisfied with salary
23/09/2007 10:25

Anon (same one as above!) to Hang on.... (#29)

I agree that 45k after 9 years of consulting experience is not typical, but far from it, particularly with someone with MBB experience. And no bonus either - which company do you work for.

Every indusry has it's shortfalls - I am sure there are people in PE, IB, Law, etc, who are not entirely satisfied by their industry.

Consulting is no different, however, my view is that consulting does overal offer a good package to those that succeed in the industry. For me this package does not only include money, though enitably this is a crucial element.

To the original poster, if you're are not succeeding in the industry, as your salary would suggest, then it maybe worth also thinking about why this is and what you can do to address it. Putting your frustrations down purely to the state of the industry is not really fair to the industry because there are people who do succeed in it. I would suggest you look at what you can do differently as well rather then just blame the industry.

In terms of options you have post consulting. If you do have MBB experience, focus your CV around the strategy work you have, and join the strategy division of a company in industry - there is a reasonable amount of jobs is in this area and you could work your way up. Pay will be more than what you're on now, but less than what you should be on in consulting. Also, you could join a bank in the middle to back office as a PM or similar, again money will be better than you're on now, but similar to what should be on in consulting. Realistically you're unlikely to get the high paying front office IB and PE jobs unless you have experience in this area or take some time out to go to a top business school (like LBS, Insead or Harvard).

I don't mean to be rude, but sometimes people blame the industry far too quickly before actually looking at their own part in building their career. Self awareness is a crucial element to being a successful consultant.

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#31 RE: Not satisfied with salary
23/09/2007 10:33

Viper to Hang on.... (#29)

You are right... In the end I think that consulting has now matured into a true services industry where 95% of contracts are signed based on price. Fees will not increase substantially as clients have got into bad habits and now expect to source consulting services at current prices or less. My advice - make sure you PUSH your current firm to give you the best career experience possible in the short term then take that experience somewhere else or do an MBA and leverage into IB, industry exec or a start-up.

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#32 RE: Not satisfied with salary
26/09/2007 21:02

Consulting Sucks to Mark (#1)

£45k is a joke for consulting - you'd be far better off in industry or the public sector where a slight drop in salary would be made up for with work/life balance, limited travel, better job security and work into your 50's.

No experienced consultant should earn less than £70k.

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#33 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 00:51

anon to Consulting Sucks (#32)

Something isn't adding up.

3 years at any MBB will get you more than £45K. Do you mean to say that your salary has decreased with the 6 years experience you've got since then?

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#34 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 09:02

Mark to anon (#33)

What happened is as follows:

After leaving MBB, I joined the new firm on the same salary as I was at whilst at MBB. Not too bad, I thought - I need a job (I was laid off during the downsizings of a few years back), and the pay is the same for considerably less travel and hours. Except I forgot that the new firm doesn't give a bonus (so down by £5K immediately) or pension contributions (another 5%). I was young and naive and had rent to pay.

For the next few years, I made up a bit of ground. Increases of 8% or so. Not spectacular, but not too bad either I thought. No bonuses.

Then it all went pear shaped. Pay 'increases' of 3% and the like. No bonuses. And a few devious firm tactics such as announcing pay increases on a certain date but then them only taking effect 6 months later (backdated, mind you), combined with a "temporary" 25% pay cut across the board because the firm was doing badly (except this now seems to have become permanent).

So basically, I've gone nowhere during the past few years. The problem is that, whilst the pay isn't great, it isn't all that bad either compared to alternatives (when you look at the whole package, including hours and travel, suddenly the alternatives don't look particularly better although I admit they do pay a lot more).

I'm now wondering what to do next. Having done my research and worked in the industry for quite some time now, it just seems that consultancy in general isn't the golden goose it was made out to be when I left university 10 years ago. And moving to industry would be pretty much a 'horizontal move' as far as I can tell.

What would you guys do in my position?

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#35 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 09:49

how about to Mark (#34)

I would go back to consulting for a couple of years. If you can possibly stick it, this should bring you back up to speed.

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#36 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 10:09

Mark to how about (#35)

Sorry, should have been clearer. When I said "the industry", I meant "the consulting sector". I am currently working as a consultant.

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#37 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 10:12

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to how about (#35)

Mark - sounds like what you need is a stint of employment somewhere where you're being paid your "market rate", so that you can then go job-hunting with your "salary at your most recent employer" accurately reflecting your worth.

I agree with the previous poster - given the appetite for hires within consulting at the moment, it should be realistic for you to secure a role at the going rate in consulting (ie. not held back by your current earnings) and then either stay with consulting or move on from there with your earnings once again established at the level they should be at if you hadn't been hit by this 25% across the board pay cut.

Good luck.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#38 RE: Not satisfied with salary
08/10/2007 10:23

Mark to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#37)

Thanks Tony, I think you're right - I need to contact a few agencies and see what's out there again.

It's reassuring also to hear that my current salary may not be quite the obstable I thought it might.

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#39 RE: Not satisfied with salary
14/10/2007 19:45

Jamie to Mark (#34)

Mark,

Your figures don't add up.

I don't know any medics who make the money you talk about, I know a consultant (medic) who's on 85k, everyone else 50-60k (GPs a bit more).

Your lawyer figures only apply to golden circle.

I've been in consulting 3.5 years (not MBBB) and am about to move to 60k. I feel well recompensed in comparison to my friends. The only people I know who are doing substantially better than me work for Goldman's or hedge funds (but they're substantially more hardworking and clever than I am).

As an example, new senior managers at Accenture make around 100k and you can hit that in 7 years quite easily.

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#40 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 13:37

Mel to Clint (#3)

I agree with Clint regarding

1. Switch to being a contract consultant.

OR the big OR

2. Band together with a group of colleagues / uni contacts and form your own consulting firm.

I did option 1 already for few years, but now I have moved to Australia and trying to do option 2, BUT... Nobody to pair up with.

Does anybody know of somebody in Sydney who would be interested in option 2?

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#41 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 14:41

anon to Mel (#40)

I think the apparent declining prestige of our industry is definately turning off some of the younger guys like myself (and I say this having talked with friends often about it who agree.)

Not least because for us, we have about 11 yrs hard work ahead of us to make about 200k or so. Thats a lot of money, but given the sacrifices it takes to get and stay there and the fact we live in London, it's not exactly very motivating.

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#42 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 15:07

jimmy-bob to anon (#41)

The whinging on this forum.

We don't have a law or medical degree.

We don't have accountancy qualifications.

We don't have an actuarial degree + 5 years of studying on the job.

we make good money considering we fly by the seat of our pants.

Don't blame the industry for your lack of career management.

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#43 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 15:23

anon to jimmy-bob (#42)

Many of us have 1sts from top universities. Many of us also have MBAs which cost us £50K+ not to mention loss of earnings in the meantime. Many of us work 70+ hour weeks and travel to faraway destinations at the whim of a client. And many of us earn not a lot more than the kids who left school at 17.

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#44 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 15:46

Jamie to anon (#43)

If your 1st and MBA are so marketable why don't you get a higher paid job outside consulting?

Jamie

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#45 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 15:55

anon to Jamie (#44)

Because nobody wants a know-it-all who has spent the last 10 years spouting out generalist guff and drafting powerpoint slides. And besides, I can't just suddenly become a lawyer or doctor or investment banker overnight. I ended up in this 'profession' for various reasons including because I thought it was well paid - sadly I've now found out that it isn't.

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#46 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 15:59

Jamie to anon (#45)

Invest in property to increase your capital and then lie to all your friends about how much you earn. Seems to work for 90% of everyone else in London.

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#47 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 16:58

Craig to Jamie (#46)

Your problem? You haven't failed often enough.

Career wise, I'm like the England rugby team.

I got a massive shock in the early rounds - the group stage if you like. Got a 2:2, acted like a kick up the backside. Got into contracting - tackling, counter-rucking, kicking the odd drop goal landed me a salary of £150k.

Whereas you have all showboated your way through with your fancy 2:1s/1sts, scoring pretty tries but forgetting how to scrap underneath a pile of bodies....

And now I'm in the final, whereas you are on the plane back home. :-)

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#48 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 17:28

confused to Craig (#47)

So, of you senior guys on here in consulting, is it worth a young money-motivated lad like me who wants to drive a ferrari and live in a fancy house staying in consulting, or will I be left bitter and twisted as move up the ranks like the other guys on this thread and should change careers while i can?

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#49 RE: Not satisfied with salary
15/10/2007 17:51

anon to confused (#48)

To confused - Put it this way, how many consultants do you see driving ferraris around london? And why do you think they call guildford and the like the "stockbroker belt"?

If that doesn't answer your question, then answer the following:

There are two people in a room: a consultant and a banker/trader. Each have 10 years experience. Now, there are also two cars parked outside: a 3 series BMW and a ferrari. Who do you think drives which vehicle, and why?

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#50 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 08:19

Big Consultant to anon (#49)

Take the same two people in the room and introduce a doctor to check their blood pressure. Guess which one is higher and well beyond normal or healthy levels.

Both careers are good based on what you aspire for.

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#51 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 08:34

anon to Big Consultant (#50)

Re: blood pressure - I'd wager they'd be of similar levels. The banker works long hours and gets stressed out by micromanaging bosses and colleagues who are too competitive to keep up with. The consultant gets stressed because he is 2000 miles away from home and has a presentation to prepare on a topic he knows nothing about by 10am the next day, with teammates who aren't pulling their weight (not to mention having to do his timesheets and a whole other bunch of internal admin in the meantime).

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#52 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 08:42

Mike to Big Consultant (#50)

Well one of the three must have used public transport as there are only two cars outside. I’m confused now!!

I’m feeling as little down at the moment. I was really looking forward to starting my first real job on a grad scheme at one of the Big 4. Only one of my family or friends to make the big move down south. All really proud of me starting a well respected career. Should I just give up now and move back up north. Is 70k really not that much to live on in London? I mean maybe I’m a little thick but is 70k in London equivalent to 25k up north?

Reality Check:

There are millions of people a lot worse off than a consultant. Take Middlesbrough for instance voted worse town in the UK, average wage of 17k, high unemployment, large drug problem, teenage pregnancy etc….. But only a few months ago is ranked in the top 5% of happiest towns in the UK…..so is it really money that matters.

If you don’t like the stress/pressure/’terrible’ wage, then LEAVE! Move out of London, get a different job and stop moaning.

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#53 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 09:13

anon to Mike (#52)

Mike,

Don't think when you move to London and are earning 100k in 10 years that you'll be driving a porsche and living in a penthouse flat.

Consulting money is fine for your 20's if you're not extravengant but for your 30's when you want a family home etc., which in London is easy £1m plus, you won't get the lifestyle you moved here for.

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#54 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 11:31

Mike to anon (#53)

1m+ Ive looked on websites and can get massive 5 bedroom houses for less than 500k in and around London with easy commute in.

Whoever would want to raise a family in London is another matter.

But if someone who earns 100k pa cant afford to live in London. How does 90% of the rest survive?

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#55 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 11:38

anon to Mike (#54)

I'm not saying that, i'm just saying you won't be living like a king. Consulting pays OK, yo won't be poor but you certainly won't be loaded, especially if you have a family.

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#56 RE: Not satisfied with salary
16/10/2007 14:20

George Bush to anon (#55)

the love of money - it's the root of all evil.

take a walk on a sunny day with someone you love.

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#57 RE: Not satisfied with salary
04/08/2008 21:15

Way to Go to George Bush (#56)

Completely second that.

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#58 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 06:46

MH to Way to Go (#57)

To answer one of the previous posters in a blunt manner rather than the use of metaphors, no you are unlikely to be driving a ferrari by the time you are 30 as a consultant. Yes if you want that extravagent lifestyle move out.

Those who can't move to IB will have to accept they've screwed up and either be happy with the decently paid job they have, or become bitter.

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#59 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 09:01

Casio to MH (#58)

PE or VC? Run your own business? Director at a blue chip?

I think these are realistic ways to leverage consultancy experience and realise 'banker money', albeit in our 30/40s not mid 20s.

I find it better to think about the breadth of valuable skills we get and the variety to our work, otherwise I feel sick I didn't go for IB instead.

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#60 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 09:45

anon to Casio (#59)

Me too, especially when I'm stuck here doing basically the same grunt work and hours that my banker friends are doing for 5x the salary

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#61 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 11:03

anon to Casio (#59)

Consulting's not all bad.

While my friends in IB are ageing and becoming more boring by the day i'm out getting p*ssed, sh*gging women, travelling, going on holiday, enjoying London's cultural and artistic sights, and generally having the time of my life!

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#62 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 11:16

anon to anon (#61)

Sounds just like the lifestyle I seem to remember being described in that book, "The MacKenzies Way".

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#63 RE: Not satisfied with salary
05/08/2008 23:03

rant to anon (#62)

I emphasise with the original poster.

Consulting attracts top calibre graduates who are ambitious and have high aspirations. For those of us who haven't been fast tracked to the top - it is only natural to think about what more could have achieved elsewhere.

I've been working for 5 years for a glorified software house which presented itself as much more than that when I joined as a graduate.

Career progression has a large element of luck - getting onto the right stream, getting the right project, getting the right manager etc. It depends a bit too much on how well you fit in with your colleagues too. I can't imagine an investment banker making £££ for their company or a talented surgeon would have their career progression very dependant on factors like whether on not they play for their company sport team or whether they get drunk together after work.

I have 4 A's at A-level and a first class degree. I could have went into medicine, law, accounting or banking (etc) if I had set my mind to it. I have a friend earning over 100k per year as a senior manager in a big 4 accountancy. I friend of a friend retired a millionaire aged 32 after a successful ten years as a trader. I think it would be difficult to move to a different position outside of consultancy without taking a step back because my skills are so generalist. I can't help but feel I could have done better elsewhere.

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#64 RE: Not satisfied with salary
06/08/2008 07:55

anon to rant (#63)

You're right, it's very frustrating when your performance reviews and hence pay and promotion depend on fluffy bull5hit criteria. It annoys the heck out of me that some irritating incompetent fool can rise above me just because he/she is better at playing politics. I want to work for a company where my reward is dependent on how well I do my job, and where politics can have only a limited impact on my career. And I'm talking about 'toxic politics' here - you know the sort, real Machiavellian backstabbing, credit-stealing, manipulation, etc.

The really really frustrating bit is that, for the most part, people who go into consultancy are the intellectual elite of their year. Yet five years on and you might as well have dossed around and become a plumber because you'll be earning just about the same.

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#65 RE: Not satisfied with salary
06/08/2008 09:17

Anon to rant (#63)

I also wish I could have "went" somewhere else...life sucks, deal with it.

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#66 RE: Not satisfied with salary
07/08/2008 23:21

Reality checK to Anon (#65)

In comparison to most professional jobs consulting pays well period. If you are looking to drive a Ferrari by mid 20's or by the age of 30 you need to wake up. Don't fool yourself that investment banking will make all your dreams come true either. Its only the high performing traders and front office types that take home something to really write home about. In this financial climate that group is even smaller.

By all means be ambitious, but unless you are willing to put your balls on the line and start your own company (or gamble with a tiny start up) don't expect to be living like a king until you make senior partner :)

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#67 RE: Not satisfied with salary
11/09/2008 06:47

Howard to Reality checK (#66)

Well said Reality Check. no point in complaining here. Either do something about it or sit back and p*ss your life away.

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#68 RE: Not satisfied with salary
11/09/2008 07:56

anon to Howard (#67)

Easier said than done - otherwise I think I'll just hang my laptop bag up and go and become a consultant surgeon.

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#69 RE: Not satisfied with salary
11/09/2008 23:16

Jo to Mark (#1)

Law works on a 3 x multiple i.e. annual base salary is typically 1/3 annual fees.

The problem in consultancy is the reward models that let Partners trouser a disproportionate share of rewards by paying people 1/4, 1/5 or 1/6 of annual fees.

What they seem to have overlooked (despite increasingly high levels of voluntary turnover,) is that the tide has changed and smart people are now opting out of consulting into other career paths where their efforts are better rewarded or the work / life balance is better. It frankly says a lot when mid-ranking public sector roles pay a better package than consulting.

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